Last week I received this card from the people at Free Wheelchair Mission. Just out of the blue. Some of the employees have become friends, but I was so surprised, especially since my last donation was in November.
The sweet boy on the card looks thrilled. He must have just received his wheelchair. His life has done a complete 180! I don’t know how he got around before, but some of their recipients have spent their lives crawling on the ground. He now can go to school, later open a business and provide for his family.
I’m getting ahead of myself; of course, I’m just excited for him. But there are 100 million people just like him. But they don’t have wheelchairs. 100 million!
Being disabled, and having cheated death a few times myself, it highlights what’s truly important. And here’s a clue: it’s not what our politicians have been squabbling over.
Our priest says something that is so true: “If you were born in America, you have already won the lottery.”
If you are disabled, that goes double.
Today is “Giving Tuesday.” In our culture of me, me, me, isn’t that refreshing? I bought a wheelchair, making a donation to Free Wheelchair Mission. I think it was $80. Not much money. And providing, someone with “new wheels” changes that person’s life, yes, but it changes their family’s life as well. It’s like a trickle down.
What’s neat about charity is any amount makes a difference. You can donate a million dollars to a hospital or play Free Rice, where for every answer you get right on games, ten grains of rice is donated to The World Food Programme. Ten grains of rice doesn’t seem like much but depending on how much you play, people in developing countries will get bowls of food!
See what I mean about any amount making a difference?
So, did I inspire you to participate in Giving Tuesday? I hope so!
As you know, I volunteer for Free Wheelchair Mission, a Christian charity based in Orange County. They provide wheelchairs at no cost to the recipient to the disabled in developing countries. I “speak” for them. Actually, Dad does the speaking—I write what I want him to say. Together we have been to churches, Rotary Club meetings, and city counsel meetings.
Sometimes I feel guilty. Charity isn’t supposed to be about you. Free Wheelchair Mission has given me confidence, friends, brought Dad and I closer, and has given me a new perspective on things.
I’m not going to tell you exactly how I came to volunteer for Free Wheelchair Mission because (1) it’s a very long story and (2) I think my doing so would take away from the work this wonderful organization does.
So I’ll just say this: I believe I was literally called by God.
I guess He knew what He was doing when He interrupted my sleep in 2013.
I have always been fascinated by how people in other countries live. What do they eat? How do they dress? What are their homes like?
How does someone like me—someone who is disabled—live in, say, Africa? I Googled it. What I found could bring me to tears. The disabled in developing countries literally have to crawl on the ground. Those are the “lucky” ones. Others face a life in bed.
You could say knowing that ignited a passion.
With all of my searches of how to help, one charity kept popping up: Free Wheelchair Mission.
They provide low-cost wheelchairs to people in developing countries at no cost to them. Wheelchair recipients have been able to go to school, open businesses, and just provide for their families.
It’s unfathomable, but something I don’t think twice about is so out of reach to 100 million people around the globe.
Haven’t shopped for Mother’s Day yet? Consider making a donation in Mom’s name.
I am going to do all I can do to help. I hope you click on this link to learn more.
My involvement with Free Wheelchair Mission (a Christian charity that provides the disabled in developing countries with wheelchairs) has made me realize that though I live in the United States, and the people they help are most likely poor, we have a lot in common. Our transportation, for instance. I could not imagine life without a wheelchair. I have not had to crawl on the ground or lived life stuck in bed. We have many differences—our skin’s hue, for instance—but there are four things that bind us together: Our wheels.
I wasn’t planning on doing a post today as, no to offense WordPress, I thought the prompt stank. I also had a rough morning with every muscle in my body extremely tight. Tomorrow will probably be better, at least.
I was feeling sorry for myself, I’m ashamed to say.
His timing is uncanny! I opened Facebook and, well, let me set the scene.
I’m involved with a charity that provides with Free Wheelchair Mission, a nondenominational Christian charity that provides wheelchairs to the physically disabled all over the world. The people they help have literally spent their lives in bed, or crawling on the ground.
Once a year they have a gala, which is the big fundraiser for them. This year I think they raised a million dollars.
Dad and I attended the event in July. I knew there was going to be a guest speaker, but didn’t expect to be as inspired as I was. Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. You would think he had no quality of life, having no limbs. What was so inspiring was, he went from being suicidal as a teenager to now traveling all over the world advocating for the physically disabled. He has gotten presidents and kings to change their laws regarding the disabled and bought accessible homes for people.
Back to Facebook. I now follow him, and get posts every so often. During my self pity I opened my page, and there was a post from Nick. It was my reminder about how stupid I was being. How dare I feel sorry for myself! He has the best attitude, even without something I take completely for granted: arms and legs.
I don’t have to wait for tomorrow to be a better day; it’s already happened.